Rugby

Ferris Believes Alun Wyn Jones Return Has Put Conor Murray In An Awkward Position

Ferris Believes Alun Wyn Jones Return Has Put Conor Murray In An Awkward Position

Captaining the Lions is seen to be one of the biggest honours in rugby. Being chosen as the leader of a squad that contains players from four of the strongest rugby nations is certainly no mean feat.

Alun Wyn Jones was given the title for this summer's tour to South Africa, but after he dislocated his shoulder in the game against Japan, many were surprised to see Conor Murray named as his replacement.

The Munster man has little experience in captaining teams, but he still seemed like a good fit for the role. Leading the side out against South Africa would certainly be one of the highlights of his career.

However, he may not be given the opportunity to do so.

Jones has made a miraculous recovery from his shoulder injury and has been named in the side to take on the Sharks on Saturday.

That leaves Murray's position as captain in doubt moving forward. Stephen Ferris believes that is a very tough break for the 32-year old.

Speaking on The Buildup podcast, he said that he would be a bit miffed if he was in Murray's shoes.

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I think it's really tough on him.

If I was being announced as captain of the Lions, being wheeled out in front of the media, doing all the duties. What a privilege and honour it is to captain the British & Irish Lions.

Then two-and-a-half weeks later to have it taken away from you? Alan Wyn Jones is coming out to South Africa and he is going to become the tour captain again.

I know the captaincy situation can change from week to week with whoever is taking to the pitch.

That's a huge honour in itself, but to be actually given that armband for the tour and for it to be taken away? If I was Conor Murray I wouldn't be too happy about it.

He is putting on a brave face and coming out and saying all the right things, of course he's going to do that. But a part of me wouldn't be too happy with it.

That's the way it goes. Warren Gatland makes big decisions at big times, we all remember dropping Brian O'Driscoll and leaving him out of the test team. There was a media frenzy over that and he got over that okay.

He has made some big calls in his time as head of the Lions and Wales, not bringing Johnny Sexton was another big point on this tour.

He has got very few calls wrong so you'd have to back this one.

I feel sorry for Conor Murray, but maybe this will be a weight of his shoulders. He can go out and play his own game and not have to talk to the referee as much and can leave that to whoever is with him as the captain.

We will soon find out if it's a good decision or not.

It will be interesting to see how this dynamic plays out over the remainder of the tour.

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SEE ALSO: No Room For Henshaw In Ronan O'Gara's Lions Test XV

Gary Connaughton

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